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Team Speed?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Ok, I'm a bit confused. I remember last year when we opened up against TB. The announcers were ga-ga over how fast we were. This year in several articles and in cbssportsline.com's power ratings, they say how slow we were ...

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Old 05-16-2003, 07:54 PM   #1
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Team Speed?

Ok, I'm a bit confused.

I remember last year when we opened up against TB. The announcers were ga-ga over how fast we were. This year in several articles and in cbssportsline.com's power ratings, they say how slow we were last year and how much faster we are this year. So, were the announcers last year reading the media guide, smoking something or were we slow last year? And who have we added that makes us so much faster?

I know we axed Knight for being too slow. And trading Hand I'm sure increases the team speed simply by subtracting his waddle average :-)

And they (media types) talk of carter and ambrose as 2 old men. I figure if you take care with the line and lb's on the defensive side, stop the run and pressure the qb, your safties can be a bit slower. Especially if they are big hitters.

On Offensive side of things, I thought we were scary fast (Duece, Stallworth, Horn). Have we added any speed there?

So, are we faster this year, and were we really slow last year?
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Old 05-16-2003, 11:42 PM   #2
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Team Speed?

They did draft a lot of speed players last year. Some of these guys will now be starters this year. Upgrades in defensive speed this year will be:
Jones vs. Bellamy
Mitchell vs. Knight
Allen vs. Smith
Sullivan vs. Hand

Guys like Hodge, Carter, Grant and Howard are all above average quickness for their positions. We will likely be a more athletic team than the prior year. Whether that translates into a better defense remains to be seen. I certainly hope so.
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Old 05-17-2003, 08:31 AM   #3
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Team Speed?

I agree that defensivly, we will probably be quicker than we were last year. However, does the fact that we are simply faster this year mean we were S L O W last year?

I guess, what I\'m wondering too is does the team sometimes buy into their own hype? Last year we were supposed to be a fast and dangerous team. Perhaps that was only offense and special teams?

I\'m sure the announcers were either reading from the media guide, or parroting back coaches komments. If they media is simply regurgitating back what the coaches tell them w/o any annalisis, fine.

What WOULD make me koncerned is if the coach\'s really thought we were fast and we were really a slow team. Then the coaches seem to need to get a reality check and then we\'ve got real problems (how do we know we are faster, better, stronger this year). Should the analysis this year be: This was a fast team last year, but WOW they\'ve added even more speed, more heavy hitters this year.

I guess another kwestion comes back to the media. Are they really doing any analysis? Do they simply reformat team press releases, media guide, coaches komments w/o checking it out?

Are the coaches so blinded by their percieved brilliance they can\'t make real judgements about the team? If this is the case, then again we could have bigger problems than having to worry about team speed.

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Old 05-17-2003, 10:26 AM   #4
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Team Speed?

I think.... last year....

On offense, we were fast.

On defense, we were slow.
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Old 05-17-2003, 12:59 PM   #5
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Team Speed?

I don\'t believe we were overall slow on defense last year. We were experiencing either a lack of effort by certain veteran players, over pursuit of plays by the inexperienced and fast youngsters, players playing out of position and against their natural strengths, and the combination of all of this concluded with us playing terribly on defense last year. Too many guys were not fulfilling their assignments on defense, showing poor tackling and play recognition, and that made the veterans try to fill what they thought were the holes and not doing what they were planning to do. I think Sammy Knight was a good example. He is a centerfielder type of safety. He is good at recognizing what play is developing. He had to step up into the box more than he should have as our run defense was letting runners past the first line. Darrin Smith had over 100 tackles and he was supposed to be our cover linebacker. He was flying all over the field trying to tackle everyone because that\'s what he felt he had to do to stop the bleeding. These two guys couldn\'t rely on Clemons, Hodge, Bellamy, etc to make plays. They weren\'t picking up on what was going on and were way out of position. Trying to do too much meant their primary roles were not sufficiently attended and there were breakdowns everywhere now. That is the nature of a player though. They can\'t just do their job and hope everyone else does. Players will instinctively do what they think needs to be done. Had they just focused on their own role the breakdowns at the other spots may have been more frequent and blatant. As it was the breakdowns got exploited in a more spread fashion.
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Old 05-17-2003, 11:48 PM   #6
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Team Speed?

i dont think that having a so called \"slow\" D last year was the main problem... i think that it all started with the front 4.. howard and grant played solidly at times but jackson and hand hardly did anything... allowing us to be weak in the middle... giving up 4.5 yards per carry and that caused our secondary to be more run supporting and that inturn forces us to give up big plays which we did most of the year... this year if we are stronger up the middle with sullivan and either jackson or the other guy.. cant think of his name but that will make the overall D much improved

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